Friday, August 5th, 2011
Please don’t tell my wife how many little HD cameras I have. She wouldn’t be mad, but she would certainly tease me without mercy. These things have gotten so inexpensive that each one seemed like a reasonable purchase, it’s only when I look at all of them spread out on a table that I realize what I’ve done.
Now that I’ve done it, though, I’m pondering uses for all these gadgets. One that I’ve been playing with for a while is a “guitar cam” – a camera mounted directly on the guitar and giving an unusual view of the performance. With all these cams hanging around and Lynnie out of town I went to work. (more…)
Sunday, November 28th, 2010
Most of my video work consists of “look at me” videos I post on YouTube, shots of my slack key guitar playing. The audio is at least as important as the video, and a couple of my camcorders, the Sanyo Xacti HD2000 and the Kodak Zi8, were chosen because they had some sort of audio input and some degree of control over that input. In both cases, though, I’ve never been really happy with the audio I was able to record with these cams, even when I used an external source. Both these cameras, and others I’ve tried, have some kind of processing on the audio that attempts to maintain a constant level. And, of course, the audio circuitry gets a pretty small share of the development and manufacturing budget. The combination of these factors results in noisy distorted audio unless every detail is exactly right, a rare thing indeed. (more…)
Thursday, March 18th, 2010
I’ve been touting the Zi8 as a low priced tool for “look at me” YouTube videos because it allows the use of an external mic. It’s usually the case that our preferred framing for a shot moves the camera some distance from the subject. This means that the sound recorded by the camera mic is heavily affected by the sound of the room, and that is rarely a good thing for sound quality.
By separating the mic from the camera, I should be able to position the mic for optimum sound while placing the camera for the visual effect I want. Of course, I can do this wihout an audio input on the camera by a technique called parallel recording, that is, recording on a separate audio system of some kind. The familiar clack of the slate at the start of a movie sequence is used to make it easy to synchronize the picture and sound, and this technique works very well for my homebrewed videos as well. Still it’s very tempting to think that recording directly to the camera is an easier way out, with camera audio every take and every edit lining up without any extra effort. (more…)
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
I was already in Hawai`i on my vacation – can you take a vacation from being retired? – when I learned of the new Kodak Zi8. Now I already have a collection of video cameras that gets me teased by my wife, but this new shooter was too good to pass up. I’ve had it here in beautiful Kailua, O`ahu for a couple of weeks now and posted two videos.
I’m pretty pleased with this new camcorder. Let’s look at the pros and cons: (more…)